Laugh, clowns, laugh

West, docked three for a wisecrack about Adrian Beltre.

West, docked three for a wisecrack about Adrian Beltre.

In 1999, umpire Tom Hallion got himself a three-day suspension when he bumped inadvertently into Rockies catcher Jeff Reed during a beef with pitcher Mike DeJean. The Major League Umpires Association, a month before the infamous mass resignation that torpedoed it, was outraged, but “[n]ot as outraged as they’d be,” the Society for American Baseball Research’s Doug Pappas wrote, “if a player wasn’t suspended for bumping an ump.”

One of the umps among the mass resigners (he was reinstated in due course in a 2004 settlement), Hallion swore he wasn’t trying to bump Reed. Players who inadvertently bump the umps swear likewise and still pony up fines and serve suspensions.

Don Baylor, RIP: Simple and to the point

Baseball writer Claire Smith, accepting her J.G. Spink Award at the Hall of Fame, paying tribute to Don Baylor during her speech.

Baseball writer Claire Smith, accepting her J.G. Spink Award at the Hall of Fame, paying tribute to Don Baylor—holding a painting done by her father—during her speech.

Claire Smith, who was inducted into the writers’ wing of the Hall of Fame at July’s end, tells a charming story about Don Baylor, who died Monday at 68, after a long battle with multiple myeloma. As an Angel, Smith remembers, Baylor once threw a postgame fit and leveled the clubhouse spread. Not because he himself was upset after a hard loss, but to draw the press away from a rookie Angel who’d had a worse game.

Darren Daulton, RIP: Not so crazy after all those years

Darren Daulton (right) congratulates Curt Schilling after Schlling's 1993 World Series shutout in Game Five.

Darren Daulton (right) congratulates Curt Schilling after Schlling’s 1993 World Series shutout in Game Five.

When reviewing William C. Kashatus’s Macho Row: The 1993 Phillies and Baseball’s Unwritten Code, Darren Daulton figured large in both the book and the review. And, indeed, Kashatus himself respected Daulton just enough to make the catcher for those Philthy Phillies—who died Sunday at 55, after a four-year battle with glioblastoma, an insidious brain cancer—the book’s lead chapter.

The Dodgers think, “Yu Wonderful Yu”

Darvish and Roberts after Darvish's first night's work as a Dodger finished.

Darvish and Roberts after Darvish’s first night’s work as a Dodger finished.

Perhaps as an unintended omen, Sandy Koufax took a walk through the Dodgers’ clubhouse at Citi Field Friday night, before the Dodgers sent their new toy, Yu Darvish, out to face the Mets. But maybe the Dodgers didn’t need a Hall of Fame omen for Darvish to manhandle what’s left of this year’s Mets.

About the only thing anyone disagreed upon after Darvish shut the Mets out with seven scoreless en route a 6-0 win was whether or not Darvish finished his night’s work by wrapping Dodger manager Dave Roberts in a big bear hug.

A-Rod, we hardly knew ye

A-Rod's earning big cred as a baseball analyst for Fox Sports after changing himself as a person.

A-Rod, earning big cred as a baseball analyst for Fox Sports, after changing himself as a person.

The Hollywood Reporter, of all things, has Alex Rodriguez having “the secret to a successful second act,” which they quote him as giving: “You have to own your shit.” Which he’s done, little by little, from the moment he returned from his Biogenesis-related suspension from baseball.

Publishing a remarkable story about his transformation into a very respected baseball analyst on television and a mentor to fellow former athletes off, The Reporter seems dazed enough in tone to suggest what an objective reader might take away from reading it: A-Rod, we hardly knew ye.

The Yankees fumble on their new toy’s dime

Gray started his life as a Yankee with a 2-0 deficit not of his own making on a night Corey Kluber was impossible to hit . . .

Gray started his life as a Yankee with a 2-0 deficit not of his own making on a night Corey Kluber was impossible to hit . . .

Once upon a time, Athletics fans hailed a Sonny Gray start with a banner on the railing reading, “Forecast: Sonny with Chance of Strikeouts.” For Gray’s Yankee debut against Corey Kluber and the Indians, you could have forgiven Indians fans if they’d thought to hang one reading, “Forecast: Sonny with Chance of Errors.”

“It was weird. You’re getting cheered for getting yelled at.”

Eckersley in Fenway Monday night, receiving maybe baseball's first known standing O "for getting yelled at."

Eckersley in Fenway Monday night, receiving maybe baseball’s first known standing O “for getting yelled at.”

Dennis Eckersley got a standing O Monday night in Fenway Park. Not for pitching, though even at 62 the Hall of Famer looks like he could still go out to the mound and shut the other guys down to secure yet another win. The Red Sox honour assorted team legends at each home game, and Monday night was Eckersley’s turn.

Who else came out how at the non-waiver deadline?

Landing Quintana just might have turned the Cubs' season back to a postseason and maybe World Series return . . .

Landing Quintana just might have turned the Cubs’ season back to a postseason and maybe World Series return . . .

You know about Sonny Gray to the Yankees and Yu Darvish to the Dodgers. But who else came out how when it came to wheeling, dealing, and even stealing between the end of the All-Star break and the non-waiver trade deadline Monday?

Darvish and Gray, aces swapped on missions

His battering by the Marlins last week didn't make Yu Darvish any less attractive to the steamrolling Dodgers on non-waiver deadline day . . .

His battering by the Marlins last week didn’t make Yu Darvish any less attractive to the steamrolling Dodgers on non-waiver deadline day . . .

What a difference two non-waiver trade deadline deals involving two pitching aces make. Yu Darvish to the Dodgers figures to solidify a team that looks like it has the National League West sewn up and in the bank; Sonny Gray to the Yankees, say most analysts so far, means the Yankee rebuild is over and Joe Girardi, in the words of ESPN’s Andrew Marchand, now manages for his job.

Beltre, from the Nutcracker to the Hall of Fame?

Adrian Beltre at second after ripping a double down the line off Wade Miley for number 3,000 . . .

Adrian Beltre at second after ripping a double down the line off Wade Miley for number 3,000 . . .

By his own profession, the best moment in Adrian Beltre’s life wasn’t the hard line drive he smashed past third base for hit number 3,000 Sunday afternoon. And it would have been moment enough for a Hall of Famer in waiting on the day they inducted Jeff Bagwell, Tim Raines, and Ivan Rodriguez—himself a longtime Ranger—into the Hall.